…the biggest news is that last week I had my VERY LAST (I hope forever) radiation treatment.
Everyone was asking how I was going to celebrate, and my most common response was to laugh and say “with a nap!” — which is definitely funny, but also the only thing I could imagine doing, with how tired I was. And with how much my freaking legs hurt.
And so, I wasn’t at all surprised when immediately after ringing this bell, I cried out of sheer relief and then Jeremy and I both crashed out on the couch for a couple of hours.
It was a long haul. I’d started an entry about that very fact, but then abandoned it. Because I was so tired. I’d started to write about the different ways I was measuring time and how strangely it was moving, but I abandoned that too, because I was so, so tired. These are things I might share eventually, but lord knows there’s some major typo-checking and copyediting that my brain just wasn’t up for then.
It was the type of tiredness that makes you cry simply because you are exhausted and you feel like a mess and you can’t imagine NOT being exhausted even though you know logically/abstractly that at some point, yes, you will feel better. You know certain things could be true, but you can’t quite grasp feeling that they are true. I imagine that new parents understand some of this type of exhaustion.
It’s like chronic pain, or depression — how when you are really in the midst of them it feels so difficult and far away to imagine NOT feeling that way.
The radiation was so exhausting at the end — moreso probably because it came after months of chemo (anemia! neutropenia!) and left me with some nerve and muscle damage in my legs that I thought should start to get better but instead was just stubbornly hanging on, interfering with how restful my sleep could be and my ability to get around.
Oh my goodness am I ever thankful for these treatments and all the research that went into them and the simple fact that they exist (protocols this-often successful simply don’t exist for many, many other forms of cancer), but whoa, man do I also realize that they are very hard on the whole body.
It will still BE a long haul. I may be reaching out to some of y’all who offered help waaay back when. As relieved as I am to be on the upswing (SERIOUSLY, SO RELIEVED, GUYS), it will take a few months to get more energy back.
Drs tell me most people take about 8 weeks post-radiation to feel at about 80% energy. This actually sounds AMAZING to me at this point, since the last few months I’ve felt like I’m at about 25%. Today, after sleeping 12 hours fairly restfully, I feel at about 30% and that feels AWESOME.